A co-worker and I recently took a wood-turning class from Dave Jenkins at YMT WoodWorks and learned how to turn bowls - and how to break a wizard's wand that I'd just spent 30 minutes shaping.
I've been working with wood for 17 years now and I know something about wood grain and sanding and finishing but all the work I've done has been structural. I've never turned a stick.
So, for me at least, I thought the class would simply be an extension of the things that I knew about wood already. I was wrong.
I learned so many things from Dave about wood, and grain, and finishing, and turning, and structure, and form, and wood. It was great.
It must be how it felt for the basketball coaches at Texas Tech when Bobby Knight took over the program.
Sure they had basketball skills. Sure they knew how to see the grain, work the wood and sand a team into something that could be reasonably successful but it took the masterful touch of Knight to take the Raiders to the Sweet Sixteen in 2005.
And the players, who had basketball skills or they wouldn't have been playing for a NCAA Division I school, were also able to benefit.
As we head into basketball season with two Bruins basketball programs that did really well last year it will be interesting to see what the new coaches will bring to the table.
With Buell Gonzales taking over the boys program and bringing on some new assistant coaches and Becky Watwood stepping in as the new girls assistant basketball coach we should see some growth in both programs.
Now, I'm not equating either program's coaching to that of Bobby Knight because I don't know enough about the coaching styles of either, but I do know that whatever they bring to the court it will be a change. It will introduce new things into the skill sets of athletes that already know how to play the game.
It will be like introducing a lathe into the workshop of a veteran woodworker who has never turned before. It will benefit the program and all involved.